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Issue 19 – April 2014


e r u t u f d n a t n se e r p , t s a p is h about

PLUS Foreigner Toseland UFO Weapon UK Lifesigns DIo Everafter Iron Knights Neal Schon Savn Breakin Down Monument Blackdahlia Diesel

Brainst orm Compet ition inside

Cover Photo by - Joe Lester *All content and layout are copyright of Firebrand Magazine. Any attempt to distribute Firebrand Magazine to another site for purposes of download is strictly prohibited. All Firebrand Magazines are property of Firebrand. *


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Well another exciting month has gone by in the rock world. Always makes me wonder in awe how musicians manage to keep coming up with the goods without sounding repetitive. Had the honour of meeting rock legend Glenn Hughes in London earlier this month a true gent and which you can read in this months edition. The event market as well we know suffers from poor audience turnout these days and you have to pull out all the stops to promote events. So I spent a jolly day in Camden, London dressed as the Grim Reaper causing all types of chaos and mayhem to support Nightblade and Superfecta at the 100 club. Who says this industry is not fun! So we have sent Dan Mann and Paul Nicholls off to Milan for the Frontiers Rock Festival this week. Expect a full round up in the next issue unless of course they have been signed by the BBC to join the cast of Last Of The Summer Wine. Well the weather is warming up now peeps so enjoy the sun and keep rockin Peace and Respect Doc


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H.E.A.T just posted their video for their new song “Mannequin Show” on YouTube Sweden’s hottest melodic rock band, H.E.A.T, have officially launched a video for their new song Mannequin Show. Mannequin Show is taken from H.E.A.T’s new album Tearing Down The Walls; the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2012 album Address The Nation. The new album was recorded with Grammy-award winning producer Tobias Lindell (the latter also produced Europe’s 2009 album Last Look At Eden).

Blackwelder Featuring Primal Fear, Dio Disciples, Hangar Members, Signs With Goldencore Records International power prog metal band Blackwelder signs record deal with Germany’s GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music. Blackwelder is currently recording, mixing and mastering the yet untitled album for a release later this year. Hailing from the four corners of the world, Blackwelder is a brand new metal experience featuring some of the top names in Power Prog Metal today. Arguably the best singer in all of metal, Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, ex -Gamma Ray) fronts this extraordinary outfit at the top of his game, alongside guitar virtuoso Andrew Szus (Seven Seraphim), Bjorn Englen (Dio Disciples, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and Aquiles Priester (Hangar, ex-Angra) round out this unstoppable team of what quite possibly could be one of the greatest lineups metal has ever seen. Blackwelder began as the long-awaited follow up to Seven Seraphim’s “Believe in Angels“. Bit by bit, as the songs materialized, it became evident to mainman Andrew Szucs that this music should carry the banner of a new musical entity, emerging from a richer, darker source – thus, Blackwelder was born. Andrew began this musical journey alone, however, once he completed the framework for all of the songs, the band members began to fall into place like pieces of a puzzle.

Bjorn Englen was the first to climb aboard, expertly adding his bass lines to the songs. Bjorn would later go on tour with Tony MacAlpine alongside drummer Aquiles Priester, after which, it seemed only natural to keep this rhythm section in tact for Blackwelder. Once Andrew’s guitars were recorded, it became evident that a true powerhouse vocalist was needed to carry these songs to completion. Not just any voice would do. Blackwelder would need the stratospheric vocal stylings characterized by the rich tradition of European heavy metal, and who better to do that than the voice of Primal Fear: Ralf Scheepers. Like a dragon with its fire, Ralf’s voice and lyrical themes are a natural fit to the songs of Blackwelder; blending and contrasting with the Marshall-based guitar tones in perfect harmony. Topping off this powerful lineup is the unparalleled drumming of Aquiles Priester. Andrew and Aquiles agreed to finish the songs with Aquiles’ unique pyrotechnic display of progressive metal drumming techniques and what a display it is. Blackwelder is a winning formula of raw musical virtuosity that holds the listener’s ears right from the start. This act is surely not one to be missed and cannot be denied! Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Free MP3 Download & London Ahead of the release of his forthcoming studio album Goin’ Home on Monday May 5th, five-time Grammy-nominated blues/rock guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has today made “You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover”, taken from the new album, available to fans as a free MP3 download. Stream and download the track for free by clicking here Goin’Home is an exploration into the music of Kenny Wayne’s biggest influences, and features songs originally recorded by many of his musical heroes, such as B.B. King, Albert King, Bo Diddley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Lee Dorsey. Kenny reached deep into their catalogues and chose songs that inspired him when he was learning to play the guitar. The new studio album follows Kenny Wayne’s involvement in the blues/rock supergroup THE RIDES, which features Shepherd alongside Stephen Stills (CSN / CSN&Y / Buffalo Springfield) and Barry


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Goldberg (Electric Flag). Their 2013 album "Can’t Get Enough" was critically acclaimed the world over and appeared in countless "Best Of 2013" album polls. It’s Time For Heroes! The Libertines set sail on the good ship Albion once again this summer! Reuniting to headline their largest ever UK show on 5th July! This time it is the reformation everyone has been waiting for, The Boys In The Band are back. Pete, Carl, John and Gary make a long awaited return to the stage, playing their first full live shows since 2010. Joined by the cream of UK talent, this is the Best of British Summer Time. Forming at the turn of the century, The Libertines have become one of the most influential and important bands of their generation. Leading the charge with Pete Doherty and Carl Barat as song writing partners, their on stage chemistry and intense live performances have enthralled fans and critics alike since their debut album ‘Up The Bracket’ in 2002. Following this with their second LP in 2004, ‘The Libertines’ shot straight to #1, catapulting them into the mainstream. Disbanding soon after that release, they went their separate ways for six years, cementing their almost mythical status. Reuniting for a handful of shows in 2010 to widespread praise, they won a whole new generation of fans in the process. Alongside The Libertines on 5th July announced so far include The Pogues, Spiritualized, Maximo Park, Wolf Alice, Swim Deep, The Enemy, Reverend and The Makers, I Am Kloot, The View, Darlia, The Rifles, Cuckoolander, Brownbear, Raglans and The Twang. Pre sale tickets will be available at 9am from Wednesday 30 April! You'll be notified by email with the pre sale link just like today, so tell your friends that The Boys In The Band are BACK and ready for an unforgettable concert in Hyde Park.

introspective closer, ‘Say Goodbye’, ‘Outsider’ proves that Uriah Heep has remained a musical powerhouse, and one that can effectively balance its legendary sound with a distinctly contemporary approach. The record, which was produced by Mike Paxman (Asia, Status Quo), also introduces bassist Dave Rimmer, who joined the band in the summer of 2013 following the untimely death of long time member Trevor Bolder. In a curious twist of fate, the UK release date of ‘Outsider’ coincides with the birthdays of both Box and his late friend Bolder, with Box paying tribute in stating that “we lost a world class bass player, singer, songwriter and friend. While Trevor was ill, he wanted us to continue working, so we used a bass player called Dave Rimmer, who Trevor approved of. It was only natural that Dave carried on with the band.” The release of ‘Outsider’ coincides with a Scandinavian tour and a number of summer festival appearances in mainland Europe, following which Uriah Heep will launch a world tour – including UK dates - as the band promotes the new album to an eager international audience. FISH re-schedules 3 dates on May UK tour FISH has been forced to re-schedule the first three concerts on his upcoming UK tour due to the fact that his guitarist, Robert Boult , has contracted chickenpox. The Sheffield , Liverpool and Durham dates have been re-scheduled to: Durham Gala Theatre Monday September 29 Liverpool O2 Academy Friday December 19 Sheffield City Hall Saturday December 20

All tickets for the three concerts will be valid for the re-scheduled dates. Says Fish, “Robert arrived at the studio on Monday and was obviously unwell. On Tuesday he started to come out in a serious rash which has Uriah Heep release their new album Outsider on 9 worsened in the last days. He is still infectious but June 2014 luckily all the rest of the band and crew have already had chickenpox and are relatively safe. There is Uriah Heep, one of the pivotal hard rock groups to however a potential risk to members of the general emerge from England in the late 1960s, returnn with ‘Outsider’, the band's 24th studio album and the public who, like Robin, have not contracted the first since 2011’s critically acclaimed ‘Into The Wild’. disease before and with adults the infection cannot be treated lightly. Click here to read the official “We are very proud of our history,” says statement. founder/guitarist Mick Box, “but it is equally The tour will resume as planned from Tuesday important to keep producing new material. This new May 6th when FISH plays the Robin in Bilston, album, ‘Outsider’, is very much a rock album in true Wolverhampton. 'Heep' style. It shows that we still have the same passion and energy for our music that we have always had.” From the opening chords of the album’s hard driving rocker, ‘Speed of Sound’, to the more


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Vandenberg’s Moonkings release new video ‘Close To You’

Steelhouse Festival adds Sebastian Bach, Toseland, Electric Boys & The Amorettes

Sebastian Bach, Electric Boys, Toseland and The Amorettes join headliners Europe and Black Star Riders at The Steelhouse Festival from Saturday July 19th and Sunday July 20th in the beautiful countryside at Hafod-Y-Dafal Farm in Ebbw Vale, South Wales. Now in its fourth year, Steelhouse continues to build its reputation as one of the best classic rock music festivals in the UK. Former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach and the critically acclaimed Swedish rock band Electric Boys have been added to the Saturday July 19th line-up, headlined by Black Star Riders. Toseland and The Amorettes join Swedish rock headliners Europe on Sunday July 20th. Sebastian Bach has sold in excess of 20 million records worldwide, and releases his new album Give ‘Em Hell on April 22nd. Stockholm’s Electric Boys are best known for their debut 1989 album Funk-O-Metal Carpet Ride and their rock anthem All Lips N’ Hips. Former world superbike champion, James Toseland is best known for his critically acclaimed debut album Renegade, while Scottish female power trio, The Amorettes first came to prominence with their 2011 debut album Haulin' Ass. “We are incredibly excited to announce these additions to this year’s festival line-up,” says Steelhouse Festival’s co-founder Sally Ann Evans. “The Steelhouse Festival is now in its fourth year, and the quality of artists keeps getting better and better. To have Europe and Black Star Riders Belfast rockers AJENDA release their new and headline this festival after only three years is quite fabulously catchy promotional single 'OTHERSIDE' some achievement, but then to add a worldworldwide on 26th May! renowned rock icon like Sebastian Bach as special 'Otherside' came about by way of a co-write between guest is really a massive testament to the loyal following the festival is attracting.” Ajenda guitarist Gavin and up and coming LA producer Russell Steedle, who connected in a songwriters collaboration group hosted by legendary rock songwriter Jack Ponti. The song had an instant appeal to the band and with its bright, upbeat charm and catchy melodies, it makes for the perfect summer song! This fabulous quartet have really started making an impression on the music scene and will keep things moving this year with the release of singles over spring/summer and a number of live shows in Europe, promoting their debut album 'UNRECOGNIZABLE' which was released at the end of 2013. Quoted as being "....surely one of the brightest hopes of 2013", you're going to hear a lot more about this fantastic female fronted rock band this year! Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, Vandenberg’s MoonKings announce a video of featured track Close To You. Guitar legend Adrian Vandenberg has not been seen on stage in this country since the 1990’s during his tenure with Whitesnake, and is delighted to be bringing his new band of accomplished musicians to these shores to perform their debut album for fans hungry to experience Vandenberg’s MoonKings live! Previous featured track Good Thing was enthusiastically received by UK rock radio, where it received heavy rotation on the airwaves. Close to You is sure to follow in it’s footsteps; an earthy hard rock classic underpinned by Vandenberg’s eclectic style.


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Leamington Assembly -19 March 2014 Support from - Reds’ Cool Review and Photos by Reg Richardson UFO might be an old school rock band but they can certainly pull a crowd. Over 500 people turned out in Leamington for a mid-week gig headlined by a band who's singer is a pensioner, not bad, not bad at all! There's not been too many Russian rock bands of note, Gorky Park springs to mind first, Show me a Dinosaur are a half decent post-rock band but tonight we had a contender for the new cock o' the walk, Reds'Cool. This five-piece, hailing from St. Petersburg, play old fashioned rock, it has an unashamedly 80's style, nothing too fancy but excellent musicianship and rasping vocals.


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Tracks from their well received 2013 album 'Bad Story' formed the backbone of the set and the live performance was well on par with their polished recordings. Musically the band could be from the 70's or 80's, there are a number of similarities between Reds'Cool and many of their contemporaries from those decades so this wasn't rocket science or a giant leap forward in musicality, it was, however, a thoroughly good and entertaining set of heavy rock with a Russian twist. People are starting to talk about this band and their album, if you're a mainstream rock fan give them a listen, you'll talk about them too. Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it, it's a band called UFO, on stage, live and kicking. This lot have been around, on and off, since 1969 with vocalist Phil Mogg permanently at the helm. In fact, Phil is the one constant in the band and the only member to have been there since its inception with Andy Parker being the only other member of the original line-up coming back to the fold. Phil turns 66 later this month and the years have certainly taken their toll on his voice if not his constant enthusiasm. The current line-up is Phil Mogg, vocals; Vinnie Moore, guitar; Paul Raymond, keyboards and guitar; Andy Parker, drums; Rob de Luca, bass. The show was really one of two extremes - a trip through the 1970's and a quick hop to the present day with the 1980's largely ignored with just one song from here and a few from the 1995 album 'Walk on Water'. The set kicked off with 'Lights Out' from the 1977 album of the same name then we jump to 2012 with a couple of songs from 'Seven Deadly'. After this we had songs from 'You Are Here' (2004), 'Walk on Water', 'Obsession' (1978), some more from 'Lights Out' plus a few from 'Force It' (1975) and 'The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent' (1981). Songs from 'Phenomenon' (1974) were left for the encore. At various times Phil asked for suggestions from the audience; the [polite] responses included 'Mother Mary' and 'Cherry' which were included in the set much to the enjoyment of the crowd who joined in to just about every song. Despite having had quite a few years experience of live gigs it's always fun to see the band cock things up, which they managed to do at the start of 'Ain't no Baby' which got underway at the second attempt. The evening finished with the well overdue singalong songs, 'Rock Bottom' and 'Doctor, Doctor'. The set was actually very, very good; at times Phil seemed to struggle a little in delivering power to the lyrics but the music was almost faultless. A great nights worth of memorable songs brought to life via one of the senior figures of rock complete wiv his Norf Landan accent!


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Wulfrun Hall – 9 April 2014 Support from - Hey! Hello!, Von Hertzen Brothers Review and Photos by Reg Richardson This was set to be part 3 of the 'Earth Versus The Wildhearts' 20th anniversary reunion tour following the supposed one-off event in December 2012 with parts 2a and 2b following in 2013! Before The Wildhearts hit the stage Ginger made his first appearance with Hey!Hello! alongside singer Victoria Leidtke. Hey!Hello! is not about Ginger Wildheart, this is Victoria's baby, and she fronts the band with a typical New York attitude. The band rattled through eight tracks, seven of which came from the July 2013 self-titled album, during which the charismatic Ms. Leidtke swanned and pogoed around the stage keeping the rest of the band in check. Settling in the band played 'Feral Days', 'Burn


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the Rule Book' and 'Black Valentine' before changing things a little with a Sparks cover, 'Wacky Women'. Then it was back to the album for 'Lock for Rock' followed by 'How I Survived the Punk Wars' and 'The Thrill of it All'. 'Swimwear' ended the set leaving the crowd shouting for more. The music was good ole rock'n'roll with a tinge of pop but it was infectious and had the audience dancing and cheering throughout, setting the scene nicely for the rest of the evening.

in silhouette. This also seemed to be the trend at some of the other venues on the tour. That's the criticism done with, on to the music.....oh, hang on, the music.....the sound quality wasn't the best I've heard at a major gig that's for sure and simply created another bugbear for a number of people in the audience.

The reunion tours have seen the return of bassist Scott Sorry, making the full line-up, Ginger, CJ, Ritch Battersby & Scott. This should have been a triumph Finnish rockers VHB really are brothers...well, three for the band, the setlist being one that rolled back of them are anyway. the years with most studio albums getting some Mikko, Kie & Jonne representation, but the poor lighting and sound Von Hertzen are quality made it all a bit of an anti-climax. There were joined on stage by some great songs, including 'Caffeine Bomb', 'Mood Juha Kuoppala and Swings and Roundabouts',' Junkenstein' and 'My Mikko Kaakkuriniemi Baby is a Head Fuck' but following 'Suckerpunch' the and together they band left the stage for a break meaning that produced some whatever good mood had been created dissipated supreme rock well before the band reappeared to play another sounds. Like Hey! seven songs. All in all a bit of a disappointing show Hello! the VHB set and, for me, the band of the night was VHB. revolved around their latest studio album, 'Nine Lives', with four of the eight songs coming from it. They played with a style that's a little difficult to define, not falling squarely into any single category of rock. At times it was a little bit heavy, a little bit prog, a little bit pop, but always lively and delivered with plenty of feeling and energy. The first three songs, 'Insomniac', 'Writing's on the Wall' and 'Flowers and Rust' were all taken from various editions of 'Nine Lives'. before the band took us back in time to albums released as early as 2006. The set ended with 'Thy Will be Done' from the 2006 album 'Approach'. This was another highly entertaining set from a remarkably talented and popular band, could The Wildhearts top it? So, here come The WIldhearts, at least I think it's The Wildhearts, it's a bit difficult to see with so little light...and that was one aspect of the show that didn't improve, unusually, following the disappearance of the photographers (me included) from the press pit. The lack of light did lead to some criticism being raised by the photographers AND the crowd, many of whom found it difficult to see the band other than


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Leamington Assembly – 6 April 2014 Support from - The Rushmore Review and Photos by Reg Richardson First time at the Zephyr Lounge, Leamington Assembly's smaller sibling venue. Probably the last time at the Zephyr Lounge, Leamington Assembly's smaller sibling venue. We're here to see Toseland and given the amount of available light in the venue that could be a bit of an see (or don't!), it's dim.....VERY dim. The support band was The Rushmore, a local band from Leamington Spa signed on at short notice for the event. The Rushmore are an out-and-out Indie band with lots of energy, a decent enough sound and were well supported by the Zephyr crowd throughout the nine song set. All the songs came from their album, 'Welcome to the War' due to be released in June and, for me, the highlights were 'Identity' and 'This Disease'.


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You could say that the headline band was the epitome of a biker rock band....but I won't, cos I'm sure it's been said before. I'm always a bit wary of sports stars turning songsters (think of Frank Bruno etc), but James Toseland turned out to be an exceptional singer and keyboardist and the band produced some outstanding rock. The gig focused on 'Renegade' the album released by the band last month and all 11 songs on the album were played along with 3 covers. The set kicked off with 'Gotta be a Better Way' followed by 'Burning the System' complete with its screaming guitar opening bars. The music is typically British with an American twist. It's difficult to compare Toseland with other bands but, vocals aside, the music did contain some elements similar to bands such as Black Stone Cherry, Daughtry and even Velvet Revolver. 'Singer in a Band' followed by 'Emergency' then 'Life is Beautiful' the title track from the 2013 EP of the same name. The tempo never let up as the band rocked from one song to the next and by this time James had taken delivery of his keyboard to broaden the musical strokes even further. Eventually it was time for a breather and that came in the guise of a cover, 'Reward' by Julian Cope & The Teardrop Explodes and this was immediately followed by Elvis Costello's 'Pump it Up' before getting back on track with songs from the album. The main set finished with 'Crash Landing' but the crowd weren't quite ready to let the band go without hearing the album's title track at least. 'Renegade' proved to be the final song of the night but not before the band had ripped through 'Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting' by Elton John. Miserable lighting apart the band provided the packed venue with a very accomplished set of original music and popular covers. Toseland are an upcoming band with plenty of potential to be a major player in British rock and they are on my list of bands to see again....preferably at avenue where I can actually see them and photograph them without the need for night vision kit.


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Photo by - Joe Lester

Chats to Rick Palin Glenn, an absolute pleasure to meet you, it really is, it’s nice to see you here. So just to get things started, you’ve got a legendary history in this industry. How does a lad from Cannck end up in the rock industry? By being given a gift that’s been freely given to me.

most grateful person you will speak to this year.

Yeah I can that, obviously with tales of the 1980’s period are quite widely known, what was it like to sort of come out of that area? What, with coming out of the darkness? Well, in the 70’s when we did not have rehab centres, when cocaine was new to the young Americans which I In what way do you mean? was in the 70’s, it’s been in California since 1972. Well, let’s just take for instances I’m older now and When you are in the biggest band in the world, when looking back at the gifts that we were given as I was in 73/74, certain quantities and quantities children. I’m talking about, like a young Wayne come to you like free women, free booze, free drugs, Rooney when he was 7, we probably would have seen a future England striker, or a great surgeon or free everything, free cars, and when you’re 19/20 a great architect. It’s something some people have years old and you’re born in the black country, you know toilet down the garden, working class family, to learn, go to school and some people are given gifts. Like art, painters and I think how can someone only child raised by a mother and a grandmother, but I was intent on the gift that had been freely given to paint that? And somebody asked me how can you me as an early teenager, you know, picking the guitar possibly sing like that? Now at 62 you can possibly up and playing ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ quite sing better now than you used to. So now looking effortlessly, where other kids couldn’t do it, and I built back at my life and not abusing my talent with and all of a sudden I found myself at 18 going I like extraordinary drugs (laughter), when I look back at the gifts that were freely given to me which I abused this, I didn’t know I could sing til I was 21, it’s like it’s dramatically in the 1980’s, I’m going to be, and this this supreme gift we’re given. is going to sound a little crazy, but I’m probably the


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Yeah I can understand that. And then between 76 after Deep Purple and 91, I call that the ‘The Dark Years’ when we buried Tommy Bolan and Ronni James Dio and I became great friends and lived next door to each other and made three or four albums, I don’t remember the 80’s, I really, truthfully and I’m not being an ego maniac, but I don’t remember. And then when I got sober, it all came back to me. I can actually empathise with you on that one period in my life where I don’t completely remember either, but it was the loss of my son, and it forced me to drink. God bless you man. And it was one of the darkest times of my life, I understand the whole sort of blank time zone, I lived with alcohol breakfast dinner and lunch for a couple of years. I never talk about god in an interview but some higher power ingredient that is supreme helped me restore my sanity from someone, if you only knew the way I was in the 80’s I was completely physically unrecognisable to the man I am today. It was Jekyll and Hyde to the max. People see me today that I used to hang out with in the 70’s and 80’s that have no idea it’s the same Glenn. And I look at Nikki Sixx today, my friend, he got married last week and I look at him today and I look at him 20 years ago and think this guy looks completely different and sounds different. I don’t want to offend any British people by not talking about God, and not talking about something that’s a higher consciousness, to get us through.

touring America non-stop which started from playing to 20 people to 5,000 people at the end, and we were on our way to becoming a huge group, and then when I joined Purple, I was like, if you don’t mind, I was kind of ready to switch into that A-Level league. I’d done my way of art and the guys in Purple saw that and I’ve never not been accused of not working hard, I’ve always worked hard.

I mean that is one thing that is very apparent about you, you always do work hard, even the projects you do. Your voice now, and no offence, but at your age still sounds as good as it was 25-30 years ago. I’ve seen a few people on tour recently who can’t quite cut it anymore. Well you know Steven Tyler is a dear friend of mine I think to be honest, there is definitely something and we talk about this a lot, I mean I’m full of fear there, whether its subliminal, conscious mind, now, I’m not frightened someone’s gonna kill us, but basically acting as an override reset switch, I don’t when I’m on stage on the magic circle with my know, but there’s something. I mean I can only microphone, and I can feel the mic and I’ve got my base it on my own examples from what pulled me bass, and I’m in tune nothing can knock me off, and out. I just woke up one morning after, throwing up it’s not an ego thing it’s a no fear, humans are driven first thing in the morning, looked in the mirror and by a hundred forms of fear, its real, we’re fear based, I just thought would my son be proud of me now? we’re animalistic frightened. Fear is fuck everything And then from that the switch just went. and run. But when I’m on stage or in the studio See, because you did it until everyone else and you singing on that mic, I feel that I’m supposed be there. were tired of it, you were tired of feeling like shit, this is what happens with drug addiction and drinking. I think it’s all down to basically, we all have a calling Some of us get to bury them, and I’ve buried many in life, we’ve got to find somewhere we belong. people you know that were famous people, because There’s two Glenn Hughes’, there’s one that sits they could not find that switch. here calmly and talking to you and the other guy is the guy that sits up and goes on stage and has this, I Yeah there has been a lot of losses over the years, wouldn’t call it a warrior, but I call it very primal, it’s it’s a horrible sort of experience. I mean you’ve an ego thing of course, but this is my shit, this is my been with the biggest bands in the world, you are place, and now I’m giving it back to you, if I can’t give one of the best known names in the rock world, it back to the fans they’re gonna know it. I’ve knownbut when you see that level of success it must be Ronnie and a lot of people that have died have felt horrendously difficult to sort of lead a normal life that way, I’m truly humbled to be here doing what I to some extent? do, and I have forsaken material things, I’ve walked Well, when I was in Deep Purple, I had 3 years of away from a lot of money to get to a spiritual place


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Alice Cooper. I love Alice It’s the ability to just be yourself, In Alice’s case it’s the ability to send himself out publically, which he is very good at. Yes, and you know something, this guy has been sober 33 years and Alice is a good friend and he’s just completely Alice you know. Love him to death and if I’m one of the elite people that are looked at, like ok what’s he doing now? I dont wanna make you feel comfortable, I want people to think, what’s he doing now? Then I’m doing my job. It’s like all the people we speak about sober, Alice, Nikki sober, Steven and Joe Perry sober, all the people I surround myself with are people that have this intense visual and no fear aspect of I’m gonna wear this and fucking do what I wanna do and it’s the way I am’ and if people want me to grow my hair like I did in 1974, come on get a grip, it’s not gonna work. Obviously, things are moving on pretty quick here and I am aware of the time, I mean I could sit and chat to you all day. ‘California Breed’, your new album, fantastic. Could be the best album I’ve made in 40 years.

where everything is actually following me. I put my music and my way of talking to you first, my health and my music and my family are very important to me, and the last thing is then that the art, that I’ve got the art, you know. You mentioned before that you’ve obviously got a great love of art, I actually knew this without actually talking to you yet, and the reason of this is because of your photo shoots, you are one of the most strangely unique people to photo graph in the respect that, you always come out with interesting angles. Is this all meticulously planned or is it you naturally do? I’m a firm believer in being one’s self. I’ve always been that way. I mean you look at me throughout the years, not from the dark years, when you look at me when I was doing the solo stuff and I lost the weight, had short hair then long hair, then I wore belt buckles then I wore skinny pants and then I wore boots, it’s like an art form for me. Everything I do is me being me. I don’t wanna be anyone else, I don’t wanna look like that girl or that guy, and I say because I’m not frightened to be man or woman. It offends people, but when you’re with me you are with someone who is really themselves, I love my friends, I’ve got great friends and some big name artist who I adore, but I don’t wanna be them. But I learnt from them and it’s like and I swear to you, I don’t look in the mirror to see how I’m looking or shall I look like this, I just do whatever comes natural. That’s the way to be, it’s kinda funny because I’ve seen a load of people in the industry over the years and so on that I’ve been less than complimentary about, but I mean there’s certain people that have stood out, like yourself as one of them, and another one that really stands out to me that I’ve interviewed in the past, of course the legendary

It is and unusual album in many respects I mean obviously you are, if I may mention BCC. Please. I’m fiercely proud of BCC. Yeah, I mean again, fantastic albums. The line-up is more of a supergroup more than anything else, but with ‘California Breed’ we’ve all gone, who is Andrew Watt? Thank you… The most successful things me and Jason have done, we found a guitar player, check this out that’s gonna be available and before people hear it they will read this interview and they may have got the album, and if not when they hear the album they’ll go, well that kid ain’t so bad, and another thing, there’s no keyboards, why would I wanna make a keyboard album after ‘Black Country’? Why would I wanna be in the demographic of having ‘Black Country 2’. ‘Black Country’1 was the definitive and the end of a great realm. I did not want to recreate a parallel universe to ‘Black Country’ I wanted it to be the drummer whose played better than he’s ever played and a vocalist who is extremely free on this album, I mean I sang in a box and went shooting outta that box and went down, I went sideways I went up I did exactly everything that Glenn Hughes needed to do that was appropriate for a new band. Again the sound is fantastic coming out of the album, it really is, I have been listening to it constantly. When you actually get involved with a project like this, say you’ve been in the industry a few years shall we say, to be polite about it. What keeps your interests there, what keeps you focused?


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It’s the song writing and I have an amazing family and home in LA, and friends and I‘m not a hermit, but I close myself off to a lot of outside issues such as there’s no need for me to be hanging out in bars til 2 O’Clock in the morning anymore coz I don’t drink, I have an amazing wife, a lot of animals I live on a fantastic ranch in LA. When one becomes older and I’ve seen a lot of my friends a) die or loose their hunger or b) disappear, I mean fucking disappear even in the internet age you can’t find them, and here I am flying the flag. The flag of freedom, I’m flying a freak flag, but with ‘California Breed’ I said I don’t know if this is the last thing I wanna do, but I’m going to plant a motherfucking flag with this band, as I planted it with ‘Black Country’. There’s going to be a lot of potential for this album, when it actually finally get released to the world, it is going to do incredibly well. Is there plans to keep this as an ongoing project? Yes, the reason we didn’t choose, and I’m not going to name names, but 5 iconic guitar players, the top 5, the reason we didn’t go to them is because we didn’t want to be in another Joe scenario, coz they’d have to go back to play with their band. Jason and I wanted someone very, very, very talented that was unknown that was available and it was a brave, brave thing to do. We probably would have had with an iconic guitar player coming in more people would have thought, that’s the way to go, you don’t understand this guy can only give us 5 shows next year, it’s not worth it. And I’m very good friends with all the guitar players across the planet and they are friends of mine and they probably wouldn’t want to play with me and Jason but though couldn’t be in a band with us. Joe and I are friends, Jason and Derick are friends, but ‘Black Country’ couldn’t continue and for the last 18 months ‘Black Country’ survival and I was here talking to you people we all knew it was kinda over, but I was still kinda planting the flag and the flag was wilting and I was standing infront of you not lying to you, because I didn’t fucking know.

Andrew as well. What mountains are left for you to conquer? It’s all spiritual, and I don’t wanna offend any British people but my life is one of spiritual guidance it’s a progression not perfection, I’m not looking to be perfect I’m looking to progress. Next time you see me I’ll have progressed from the guy sitting here, I may look the same but I have progressed because I really drive myself by reading and learning about how to survive in these times. That’s all anybody can wish to aspire to in life really. I am, and remember this, so humbled for the fact that fans follow my work because they know that I am free. I’m free of the bondage of self, free from the ache of heartache or when I had a heart attack and almost died, I’ve had 10 lives and there are a few of us left in the business, that like me that are humbled. One question I’d like to ask you is obviously the music industry has changed over the years, it’s got a lot tougher. What word of advise would you give to anybody starting out in the industry now a days? The gift that they have been given, they will know within a period of time, like you teach your kids when they are 6 or 7 and you buy them a cricket bat and they love it for 2 weeks and then put it away. A real artist whether it’s an art form of painting or music or dance or anything elaborate it’s like glue. I put a plectrum in my hand in 1963 and I’ve still got it in my hand. That’s what it’s about. And the desire and the passion to keep up with it. And I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra and I met Frank and became his friend. It might sound strange to rock fans but my parents were Frank Sinatra fans and I met and befriended him, it’s like I grew up listening to music, other peoples music but it’s music.

When you read upon your bio and everything else you were heavily influenced by Motown. Bit of a Yeah, unfortunately when you’ve got so many leap from Motown to rock. talented people. Yeah but somebody said this about me that I can So how does a guy like Glenn Hughes at 61, at that have it all and be it all, I’m not trying to dress up rock time, pick his way up from the floor of ‘Black Country’ in a soul way but there’s a lot of soul and groove to and does this in a year? ‘California Breed’. With incredible motivation No fear, and motivation and supremely thankful to an amazing family I have, mother, father, wife, dear friends, they stood by me and said Glenn you’re the guy, you were born to continue it’s not over man, I never thought it was over. Ok, let’s look at it from now, continued success, incredibly good. The new album out there, obviously it’s going to continue coz it sounds like you’ve got a great team there with Jason and

There certainly is and we’re looking forward to hearing more about it and seeing how the band progresses in the course of the next few months and years. Like I say it is a fantastic album and it’s been an absolute pleasure to meet you.


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Leamington Assembly – 28 March 2014 Support from - Matt Stevens, Landmarq Review and Photos by Reg Richardson 'Twas a wet Friday night in Leamington Spa for the visit of prog rock exponents Lifesigns supported by Matt Stevens and Landmarq. First on stage was Matt Stevens with a solo acoustic set. This was an opportunity for Matt to promote his latest album, 'Lucid', due to be released on the Esoteric Label shortly after this gig. Despite being the opening act Matt had a good number of supporters in the crowd who cheered through every note he played. Matt has an interesting set up using a sampler and delay pedal to produce several layers of sound over and above the acoustic guitar and I'd place him alongside Jon Gomm as a performer who also uses a number of tricks to enhance the sound of a solo instrument. It's an interesting effect and works on many levels. A good opener to the night.


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Next came Landmarq, van in exchange for 12 house bricks - any takers? a band that have been Well, you can take the boy out of Liverpool etc.... around for well over 20 years and describe themselves as a neo-prog band but could also easily be seen as something of a female fronted metal band because some of the instrumentals fell straight into the metal category. The band were also promoting an album, albeit a well established one, 'Entertaining Angels', released early in 2012. At the front was vocalist Tracy Hitchings supported by a well established set of musicians. Musically the band is pretty heavy at times and this suits the forthright, and sometimes downright industrial, vocals supplied by Tracy. Lifesigns on the road is composed of fellow Scouser John Young on keyboards, he also supplies lead vocals. John plays alongside Niko Tsonev on guitar, Jon Poole on bass and Frosty Beedle on drums with all three providing backing vocals. The set comprised five tracks from their 2013 self-titled album, now that might not sound a lot but it is, in fact, the entire album which is around 54 minutes long. Welcome to Prog Rock!! Mixed in to these songs were some produced under the John Young Band banner with some new stuff thrown in for good measure. Prog, by definition, suggests lengthy, melodic tracks (in comparison to post-rock which also requires lengthy tracks but which is often more repetitive and less melodic) and this definition was demonstrated exceedingly well by Lifesigns. The set opens with 'Lighthouse', a 13 minute epic from the 'Lifesigns' album, quickly followed by 'Telephone', also from the 'Lifesigns' album; this was only 9 minutes long but both were great songs with a highly musical, keyboard-driven, 80's style very reminiscent of bands like Camel. A bit of a break from the album for the next 4 songs, 'Voice in my Head', 'Different', 'Impossible' and 'Open Skies' but then it was back to the album for 'Fridge Full of Stars' followed by 'At the End of the World'. After a short reversion back to the John Young Band for a superb version of 'Kings' the set finished with the final track from the album, 'Carousel'. 'Lifesigns', the album, is full of fairly gentle, intensely melodic tracks and if you're a fan of Prog this is a 'must have' album. On the road the album translates wonderfully well especially when the longer tracks are intermixed with the shorter tracks from the equally entertaining John Young Band albums. Not bad for a Scouser, not bad at all! Oh, and I managed to get a full set of wheels off the band


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Photo By Bill Bernstein

Hammersmith -13 April 2014 Support from - Europe, FM Review by Jon Seymour Would you believe that this was my first trip to this iconic London venue? For those of you that don’t know, it used to be the Hammersmith Odeon and it has served as hallowed ground for many rock musicians and fans alike through the years. From our seat up with the Gods, we were never going to have a great view, but we were hoping that the sound at least would be good. You could have the best stage show in the world, but if the sound sucks, then you suck, and that’s a simple scientific equation at work right there. The venue its self, from the outside at least, looks very unassuming. Once inside though, it opens up into a grand auditorium, and by all accounts is pretty damned big. I won’t bother you with seating capacities and the like, let’s just say it’s a large venue and leave it at that. It seemed very well organised though, both getting in, and indeed leaving. One thing I think needs to be done at ticketed events though, is to introduce a rule of “no admittance after the first artist has taken the stage”

as there’s not a lot that pisses me off more than people not bothering to turn up for the support acts. You’ve paid £45 (on this occasion) for a ticket to see 3 bands, but can only be arsed to turn up for one of them? Why bother? If you don’t like the band on stage, go to the bar or something. Don’t turn up just as the main act is into their 2nd song (like the 2 people in the seats next to me for instance) and then pretend you’re a huge rock fan, because quite frankly, that’s a load of bollocks. Support acts aren’t there to support the main act, they don’t need it. Support acts are there for YOUR support. How will you ever discover new music if you can’t be bothered to go and listen to it, even when you’ve paid for a ticket? It’s a sad state of affairs. Anyway, I digress, so on with the show, so to speak. FM are one of the stalwarts of British hard rock. They’ve been out there doing their thing for as long as I can remember, and for whatever reason the critics I was reading back in the 90’s pretty much


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hated them. Their still around though, so that says something, and they had a lot of fans in the audience too. This was my first time hearing them live (you can’t call it seeing when you’re about 60m from the stage, not with my eyesight....), and by all accounts they were very good. The sound though, was a little dodgy in places. Occasionally the vocals got lost, and the keys were way too loud. Sadly, this trend would continue for the rest of the night, so it may just have been the acoustics in my particular seat position, who knows? Still, the band did a great job of warming up the crowd, and by the time they’d finished their short set, pretty much everyone in the room was rocking. They can definitely chalk this one up as a win. Honestly, Europe were the band I’d come to see. I like Foreigner, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a big Europe fan, and I was looking forward to their performance most of all. Unsurprisingly, they took the opportunity to grab the crowd by the scruff of the neck and shake them vigorously. They played a great set, encompassing their career. They also strut about the stage like they were still in their twenties. Joey knows how to work a crowd though, and work them he does. They also managed a couple of firsts for me too. I can honestly say that it was the first time I’d ever heard Joey drop an f-bomb on stage, and it was also the first time I’ve ever seen a second support slot do an encore. Yep you read that right, a bloody encore. That along with a couple of tracks that aren’t usually included in Europe’s live set made for something just a little special. I also have to mention John Norum’s guitar work. There aren’t many in my opinion that can put as much feeling into what comes out of the business end of the speakers. He never fails to send shivers down my spine with his musical ability. The only issue at all, was that occasionally the keyboards were far too loud, and the vocals got slightly lost (see above). So anyway, after the inevitable “It’s the final countdown” with the whole of the auditorium singing in unison, and not for the first time tonight, they left the stage and the crowd were now hungry for more. Well, those of us that bothered to turn up at the start at least.... I couldn’t help feeling that Foreigner has turned into little more than a tribute band of late. There is only one original member left as far as I’m aware (Mick Jones), and from reports of earlier gigs on this tour, it was said that he was suffering with his health, so not making any appearances on stage. For the first few songs, he was indeed missing, so it seemed that the rumours were true. That was quickly laid to rest though, as Mick joined the band on stage a little into the set. As expected, the set was pretty much a “Foreigner’s Greatest Hits” compilation, but with the added improvisation of the live show, that was elevated further. The highlight of the set (for me at least) was Starrider, on which Mick played an

absolutely amazing guitar solo. Seriously, I was standing there open mouthed. Going back to the “tribute band” moniker though, I think that may be a little unfair. That said though, once Mick leaves, that’s it, they can no longer call themselves Foreigner (in my humble opinion of course). The members of the band though, do an admirable job, and Kelly Hansen deals with the vocals faultlessly. He’s also a great front man too. I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the show, but thankfully, I did, and then some. That’s what I love most about live music. It’s so easy to get swept up in the moment. When pretty much the whole crowd are on their feet clapping, singing and jumping around you can’t help but join in, especially when the music is great. It might not have been the original members of Foreigner, but they played the songs exactly as they should be played, and there wasn’t a single person in the room that could have wanted more than that, of that I am certain. All of the classics made an appearance, and the performance was almost without issue. The only problem with the performance was that occasionally the vocals got lost, and the keyboards were far too loud (see above, twice). All in all though, it was an evening of great rock music from start to finish. If you’re one of those people that only bothered to turn up after the first two bands, then shame on you, as you missed two kick ass bands doing their thing, and rocking the room to the foundations. For those of you that did have the decency to show up for the whole show, and give your support, thank you. I know you’ll have enjoyed the show as much as I did.


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most iconic landmarks Alternative Software has revealed new screens for its unique squash arenas in highly recognisable Survive The Wasteland and customize the ultimate locations surrounded by symbolic landmarks across combat vehicle to overtake even the fiercest enemy. the globe, for this summer’s heart-pumping PSA Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today World Tour Squash on the Nintendo Wii. releases the Official Mad Max Game - Magnum Opus In-game locations consisting of iconic landTrailer. marks provides distinctive squash matches ranging from outside Australia’s Sydney Opera House, the bright illuminated hub of New York’s Times Square in the United States, Egypt’s Pyramids, and outside the towering Victorian gothic Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square, consisting the Albert Memorial monument of Prince Albert, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Official Mad Max Game - Magnum Opus Trailer

Multiplayer story game Cloud Chamber Watch the trailer below

Fancy playing squash in Times Square? PSA World Tour Squash reveals new screens of its

Gameplay details revealedThe imaginative storytelling mechanics of Investigate North's Cloud Chamber are further revealed today in a new narrated gameplay video featuring the game's director, Christian Fonnesbech. An interactive story game for the modern generation, Cloud Chamber asks you to explore a


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digital landscape dotted with information nodes containing anything from personal emails to genuine space footage from the European Space Agency in a search for hidden answers - but where in the world (or out of it) do you take it from here? Well, the trailer released today gives you a glimpse into the beautiful and intricate gameplay mechanics of Cloud Chamber. Game director, Christian Fonnesbech, and creative producer, Mikkel Thomassen, guide you through your investigation explaining the journey you'll take, the data you'll collect and how you'll work in collaboration with other players to uncover the truth.

Year’s Eve, Cold, Cold Heart sheds light on the tragic origin story of Mr. Freeze and players will discover how he earned his place as one of Gotham City’s greatest villains. Cold, Cold Heart is available today for purchase on the PlayStation®Network, Xbox Live Games Store and STEAM for £7.99 and also for players who have purchased the Batman: Arkham Origins Season Pass and are connected to the Internet. Perfect World Announces Dawn Of The Immortals Coming This Summer And Available For PreRegistraition Now Players Who Pre-Register to Receive a Free Mystic Pet Summoning Card in the Best Fantasy MMO for Mobile Devices

Players can even begin discussing ideas and analysing information from today on the Cloud Chamber Steam Community page where details are already under scrutiny and theories are being formulated. Tell us your theories: http:// 'How do you actually play Cloud Chamber? When we announced our global launch on Steam we got a lot of questions about that subject,' says Fonnesbech. 'With Cloud Chamber, we've really tried to create an entirely new method of collaborative storytelling. Story-based games are usually singleplayer affairs so we want to show in this trailer how the act of discussing information works as our main mechanic, as well as being the centre of the emotional story experience.' 'We're really looking forward to seeing how players from all over the world discuss what they find when we launch later this year.' Cloud Chamber is due for release on PC and Mac this summer. If you’re not already convinced by its promise of space-time singularities, shady scientists and the ultimate questions of life, the universe and everything, check out its credentials on the links above. You won't be disappointed. Batman: Arkham Origins - Cold, Cold Heart Story Add-On Now Live Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today released Cold, Cold Heart, the action-packed story add-on for Batman: Arkham Origins. Set on New

Sign up here: Perfect World Entertainment, Inc., a leading publisher and developer of online games, today announced Dawn of the Immortals is coming to North America and Europe this summer for iOS® and Android devices. The pre-registration page is now open, and new registrants will have access to a free Mystic Pet Summoning Card, guaranteeing at least a Four-Star Pet for proactive players! An isometric action fantasy MMO, Dawn of the Immortals challenges players to skill up through 60 levels of thrilling dungeons and epic boss fights, armed with powerful weapons and with the help loyal upgradable pets and fellow players from around the world. Dawn of the Immortals is the premier 3D MMORPG, offering deep player customization, a robust multiplayer suite of guilds, parties, group chat, World Bosses, leaderboards, and PvP and PvE arenas, and more. A full-featured fantasy MMO, Dawn of the Immortals brings a comprehensive cross-platform experience to iPhones®, iPods®, iPads, and Android devices. "Perfect World Entertainment is known for outstanding free-to-play games on PCs," said Fabien-Pierre Nicolas, General Manager of Mobile, Perfect World Entertainment, “and we’ve wanted to bring a full-featured MMO experience to our mobile players. With Dawn of the Immortals, we can do that.”


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Daylight Is Waiting To Scare You Right Now The day has come. It's finally time to test your mettle with Daylight, the frightening first-person survival-horror game from Zombie Studios. Available RIGHT NOW (April 30 for EU) for PlayStation 4 and PC, it's time to fire up those live streams and start scaring the pants off yourself. Oh, and don't forget. Because Daylight is procedurally generated, you can't predict when or where the scares are coming from! Especially when your friends in Twitch chat can type in key words that trigger scares...

Oh, and because we really want you to push the PS4's "Share" button when you're playing, we discounted Daylight for the next two weeks. PlayStation Plus subscribers can get the game for 36% off - just $9.59. Non-subscribers can get Daylight for 20% off, or 11.99. PlayStation Store prices will revert to $14.99 for all users starting May 13. PC users can pick up Daylight for $14.99 as well.

Ninetendo Selects Line-Up Avaiable For Wii and Wii U To Expand On 13 June New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario Party 9 and Wii Party all to be added to the great value Nintendo Selects range! Nintendo is adding a host of thrilling Wii titles to its series of Nintendo Selects games on 13th June. Nintendo Selects re-releases some of the most loved Wii games at a great value meaning that you can discover games as part of the range for the first time or rediscover and enjoy them all over again on your Wii, or on your Wii U in Wii Mode. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario Party 9 and Wii Party have sold a total of over 16 million copies in Europe and are all being offered at a great value as the Nintendo Selects range expands. The line-up offers you some fantastically popular gaming experiences which will take you from parties in your living room to adventures in outer space. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a classic action-packed Mario platform game which went on to sell over 7 million copies across Europe. Princess Peach has been captured by Bowser and it’s Mario’s

job to rescue her. But he’s not alone, as up to four players can join the fun at the same time, playing as Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad or Yellow Toad. And whether you’re playing alone or multiplayer, you can take advantage of a host of special power-ups, including the Propeller Mushroom and the Penguin Suit. Super Mario Galaxy 2* sees Mario blast off into outer space once more in a 3D adventure. You will explore countless galaxies across the universe, this time around with the help of trusty sidekick Yoshi. Packed with challenges for series veterans – as well as a helpful Cosmic Spirit to guide newcomers through the trickiest parts - Super Mario Galaxy 2takes players on an unforgettable journey that is truly out of this world. Mario Party 9 takes the madcap family fun from Mario Kart Wii and blends it with the thrills-aplenty minigame variety of Wii Party to create a fun-filled experience for up to four players. Choose from Mario, Luigi, Peach and more in your bid to finish first in a board game-style contest crammed with surprises… Wii Party is a laugh-a-minute piece of social gaming, in which you can take part in over 80 zany and engaging minigames as your own and your family’s Mii characters. The House Party mode makes your living room the centre of the game: take part in challenges such as the Hide ‘n’ Hunt game to find the hidden Wii Remote before time runs out, or tackle the Time Bomb game where you must keep a steady hand while gingerly passing the ticking Wii Remote between friends. And there’s more, with Pair Games and Party Games modes both offering thrilling and inventive challenges whether you cooperate or compete with fellow players. So on 13th June, get ready for some of the most popular Wii games of recent times to become available at a great value only on Wii and on Wii U in Wii Mode.

Heroes & Generals: Wars Aren't Won by Tanks Alone Reto-Moto is proud to announce the new Heroes & Generals Wars Aren’t Won by Tanks alone gameplay trailer, showcasing the various different roles you can take in the persistent war between Axis and Allies in the European theater of war and reminding you that you need soldiers to win a war - not just tanks and planes. A series of updates will hit the live servers during the coming weeks, expanding the armory in Heroes & Generals with tons of new weapons and vehicles for your soldiers.This is in addition to the loads of new content introduced in the recently released 'Oster' update such as new machineguns, new recon vehicles, new assault team types, and much more. So to celebrate this smorgasbord of new


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content, the team behind Heroes & Generals releases the “Wars Aren’t Won by Tanks Alone” trailer and invites you to keep your eyes peeled for the coming updates that will hit the live servers before you can say “Jagdpanzer acht-und-dreißig T”, ten times in a row. Watch the trailer, play the game and stay put for more supplies for the ongoing war between Axis and Allies in Heroes & Generals!


Microïds Announces The Release Of Adventure Game "Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy" On Ios And Android

Hyperx Launches ‘Cloud’ Gaming Headset HyperX Cloud Provides Maximum Comfort While Gaming Superior Audio Performance Continues High Standards of HyperX Brand HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the release of the HyperX Cloud gaming headset. HyperX Cloud features extremely comfortable ear cushions and larger audio drivers to give gamers ultimate comfort and superior sound during long game play sessions. HyperX Cloud uses memory foam ear cushions and a soft, leather-padded headband with custom stitching for enhanced comfort and style. The over-the-ear, closed-cup design helps block out ambient noise for a more immersive game experience. Interchangeable velour ear cushions enable gamers to hear their surroundings while also delivering dialogue and every explosion and gunfire in clear, high-fidelity audio from the large 53mm drivers. HyperX Cloud also features a detachable microphone and is made of aluminum for durability. “HyperX worked with Swedish manufacturer QPAD to create a headset that delivers comfort and superb sound for long game play. This is a winning combination as QPAD is known for high-quality gaming peripherals throughout Europe,” said Lawrence Yang, business manager, HyperX. “We think the hours will pass by without notice as gamers wear the HyperX Cloud headset.” HyperX Cloud is compatible with PC and PS4 as well as smartphones and tablets. It is the official headset of Intel Extreme Masters, Alliance Gaming,CNB e-Sports Club, SK-Gaming and Team Liquid. HyperX Cloud is backed by a two-year warranty and legendary HyperX reliability. For more information, please visit

Microïds brings the players face to face with the Prince of Darkness in the final opus of Ellen Cross’ adventures that began in “Dracula 4 : The Shadow of the Dragon”. The ultimate chapter of one of the major sagas of adventure games is available on iOS and April 29 on Android. With more than a million and a half video games sold throughout the world, the Dracula series still sends a shiver to the adventure fans. Last June, "Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon” introduced Ellen Cross, an art restorer in charge of identifying a piece of art that reappeared in Budapest a few weeks after supposedly disappearing at sea. Her curiosity took her all around the world on the steps of a painting with mysterious origins, linked to the myth of Dracula. At the end of the journey "Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy " takes over the investigation right after the final revelation of " Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon ". Ellen is back at the New York Metropolitan Museum with the strange painting. Revelations about the characters, an occult society, information about Vlad the Impaler, alias Dracula… The secrets behind the painting will lead the players in the heart of darkness and make it possible to make light of all the interrogations on hold since the last opus. On her way throughout the adventure, Ellen will meet old acquaintances, allies or enemies, but also new faces who will slowly guide her towards the inevitable confrontation with the original vampire. In the greatest tradition of adventure games " Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy " is a first person game, with a 360 degreeview and click and point moves. Observation and reflection are necessary for the players to overcome the dangers on their way. Players must interact with the environment, combine and use advisedly the objects gathered on their way or unlock more or less complex mechanisms. More than fifteen new puzzle games are included, as well as different brain-twisters to be solved to move on in the story. Find their way in a foggy maze, print a map with the Vampire King’s blood, turn the electric sign on… The players’ powers of deduction and imagination will constantly be needed . All the important information is gathered in a journal that can be referred to any time so that the players can pick up the thread of the story at any moment. The players can win up to twenty trophies once specific actions are carried out in the game. A score is allocated according to their ability to solve puzzles without the help provided by the game if requested.


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Everafter - Everything Is One Record Label: HummDrumm Records

8/10 Released: 27 April 2014

Highlight of the album: Horizons Wide Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

So this is the debut album from this Pop/Punk band, and is produced by the very well known producer Chris Tsangarides. From the moment you put this album on, you know pretty much what’s in store. That’s not to say it’s predictable of course, as it throws you a few curve balls, but for the most part it goes down the road of catchy songs and big sing-a-long choruses.

Lyrically, the album covers many different subjects, and doesn’t bang on about one thing in particular. It’s interesting to listen to though, and definitely not unpleasant. As a debut album, it’s a damn good effort. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s a punk album, so it’s not meant to be polished and precise. There’s a little room for improvement though, but it certainly shows a lot of promise.

Vocally, it’s probably not the strongest I’ve heard if I’m honest, but that actually adds to the overall feel of the album. The album has elements of the modern punk bands such as Green Day, Blink 182 etc, but it also harks back to the old school days too, and I often found myself thinking that the band sound a LOT like The Ramones. That’s no bad thing either. Musically, the album is solid, and it’s pretty relentless. It doesn’t take its foot off the accelerator very often, and when it does let up slightly, it’s not for long. Yeah this album is full on, and it makes it a very short affair. Twelve songs in thirty six minutes to be exact, and that should give you an idea of the album’s intent. There are no songs of epic proportions, so instead it relies on the short, punchy ear-worm approach to get the message across.


Firebrand Magazine

The Cringe - Hiding In Plain Sight Record Label: Sony/RED

5/10 Released: 14 April 2014

Highlight of the album: Lord Jim Website: Reviewer: Rob Birtley

The Cringe are a New York City band formed in 2004 whose members include John Cusimano, vocals, guitar, keys and the bands song writer , lead guitarist James Rotondi , bassist Jonny Matias and drummer Shawn Pelton . Hiding in Plain Sight is their fourth full length studio album. I have to admit that the band were new to me and not my usual cup of strong black coffee. Technically, The Cringe could be placed into the Lightweight Indie category, but where Indie music tends to be strained and samey these days, ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ sees The Cringe explore musical mix of genres. Playing with rock and roll, hard rock and melodic rock along with hints of old school punk and a tiny bit of honky tonk throw a bit of American 60’s Pop stylings into the pot stir vigorously and you have an idea of where they are coming from. Their music is not Rocket Science though and don’t look too deeply for inner meaning it’s not there. What they do have that will help them win over some fans are some catchy choruses and songs well played and neatly sung that can at times be engaging. The album opens with ‘Rushing Through The World’ which quite frankly is like a decaf, alcohol free, no smoking Foo Fighters type of affair lacking the Foo’s drive and passion needless to say it does not impress.

Track 2 (‘Finally Gonna Be on Your Own’) reminds me of the type of song slipped into the background of an American sit-com ‘Friends’ comes to mind, used to express an emotional moment yep it’s capable but that’s about it and I never did like ‘Friends’ that much. Things start to improve at the third track (‘Deep Girl’). A meaty and chunky riff over a solid beat is the refrain, it builds nicely, a certain echo of Velvet Revolver going on and a bit more down and dirty than the earlier tunes. The obvious radio friendly tracks are 'One Horse Town' and 'Get Me Some' where the vocals sound like Robbie Williams trying his hand on little known Foo Fighters B-sides which is not as annoying as you may think. In some ways you could say this was a bit of a “take it or leave it” of an album. Is this the kind of album I’d buy well to be honest no. Then again I’m not a huge Indy fan. It is an eclectic mix and does have its moments. I do have to say the whole album suffers from a lack of dynamism and punch it’s just a bit soggy and overweight or as Austin Powers might say ‘It’s just not my bag baby’. It’s not great but it’s not and pardon the pun cringe worthy either.


Firebrand Magazine

Pretty Maids - Louder Than Ever Record Label: Frontiers Records

9/10 Released: 21 March 2014

Highlight of the album: With Their Eyes Website: Reviewer: Rob Birtley

I bet I’m not the only one who remembers certain bands with a certain time in their lives. For me The Pretty Maids began one Friday evening in 1984. As usual if I wasn’t going to a gig I was hurrying my tea down my neck so I wouldn’t miss a second of my favourite Rock Radio show of all time (sorry Dawn and Paul but you come a close second) ‘The Great Eastern’ . It would have been either the end of March or the beginning of April 1984 when the late great Phil Easton played a chunk of ‘Red Hot and Heavy’ and things just haven’t the same since. It seemed like an eternity until 1987 came along and the second Maids album came out (‘Future World’) which was game changing for me and is still one of my favourite Melodic Metal albums of all time. ‘Louder than Ever’ has 12 songs on it. Four are brand new the other eight are fresh recordings of classic Pretty Maids material from albums originally released between 1995 and 2002. First thing I should explain that decade in my life was a bit of a black hole for me as far as music is concerned it corresponded with the beginning and end of a marriage and the forced sale of all my vinyl. As you can guess I wasn’t listening to much music at the time and have had a lot of catching up to do so it’s fair to say I’m less familiar with the middle years of The Maids than their early and later stuff. One thing that strikes you right from first listening this release sounds like an album and not a collection of tracks, they fit old and new into one cohesive entity as if they were all written together and not carefully chosen. The band especially the originals Ronnie Atkins (singing) and Ken Hammer (guitar) are in the kind of form that they produced on the last two studio albums and the killer ‘It Comes Alive’ CD/DVD that they released in between absolutely top of their game. These great Danes really know how to make fine Metal as ‘Louder than Ever’ shows off to a tee. The album opens with one of the new tracks ‘Deranged’ it’s based on the theme of psychosis the Maids often explore. Ronnie is in menacing growling rocking mode as they hit this up tempo number out of the ball park in fine style a definite home run and a

cracking start to the proceedings. Next comes the Apocalyptical tune ‘Playing God’ off the 2002 album ‘Planet Panic’. It’s another up-tempo number and fits hand in glove with the first new track and is honed in another arena Atkins and Hammer like to explore the global crisis. Hammer’s guitar work really does excel on this one. Track 4 is another new one ‘My Soul to Take’. It’s the classic Maids ballad about relationships which they manage to pull off so surely without sounding cheesy or dumbing down like some other bands. It sits seamlessly with the next track ‘With These Eyes’ which is a song from the 1999 album ‘Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Over Doing’. You find yourself disbelieving this song is nearly 15 years old and wasn’t written at the same time it is just Stunning. ‘Nuclear Boomerang’ is another new song and already has its own video which sees The Maids back in Nuclear Holocaust mode in tempo and lyrical content, this song so sounds like it could have come of ‘Future World’ as it’s that good. The album closes with ‘Heart Without A Home’ which proves that time has not diminished Ronnie’s voice in the slightest and is sung with so much emotion well the crowds will definitely be raising the Zippos to this one health and safety permitting. It also draws the piece to a natural end and at the same time leaves you wondering what these guys will bring out next and leaves you wanting more. Sometimes as I said circumstances happen in your life that make you take a break from music and in this case such a circumstance has let me look at this whole album afresh and what a joy it has been. It’s not a rehash with some fillers it is a real full blown work that needs hearing in its own right and is definitely worth doing so. One thing it will inspire me to do again is go over the Maids back catalogue again especially ‘Scream’, ‘Anything Worth doing is Worth Over Doing’ and ‘Planet Panic’ whose songs are given fresh life on this release.


Firebrand Magazine

Savn - Savn Record Label: CDR/Intergroove Records

9/10 Released: 25 April 2014

Highlight of the album: Lengselends Hand Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

Savn hail from Scandinavia, in fact Norway to be precise, and the band has risen from the ashes of The Sins Of Thy Beloved and Midnattsol. Both of the aforementioned bands have been somewhat dormant for a while, and TSOTB’s Stig Johansen along with Anders Thue decided to put a new band together. What originally started out as an invitation for Midnattsol’s Carmen Elise Espenaes to sing on just one song ended up with her singing on the whole album as they were so pleased with the end result, and so Savn was born.

Kristine and End Of Green’s Michelle Darkness on the album too, which adds another dimension. I won’t spoil it too much, but it makes for some interesting listening. Musically it’s very good, but with so much going on, it’s going to be hard taking the music to the live circuit with only a trio of musicians. The songs are very strong vocally too, with Carmen’s voice soaring and flowing hauntingly throughout. The subject matter on the album is also as you’d expect, and the lyrics take you to some pretty dark places, but I would wager that fans of this particular genre would be very disappointed if they didn’t.

The album as you’d expect, is a fusion of gothic and Scandinavian folk metal. It’s quite heavy in places, but with Carmen’s vocals interlaced with the music. The songs are huge, with epic production, and a lot of instruments involved. It’s very symphonic in places, and that just adds to the massive wall of noise emitting from your speakers.

Overall, it’s quite heavy going but if you persevere it’s also very rewarding. My advice is not to write it off on the first play through. I found myself having to listen a few times before I was satisfied I’d heard all it had to offer, and even then I still wasn’t certain. It’s definitely worth checking out though.

There are also appearances by Leaves Eyes’ Liv

The Deep - The Deep (Demo) Record Label: Self Release

10/10 Released: Demo (2013)

Highlight of the album: Premonition Website: Reviewer: Lee Walker

With Firebrand being home to both a radio station as well as two magazines it is fair to say that we average a rather large amount of submissions per month of varying genres and quality with the occasional curveball being thrown into the mix now and then.

With negotiations already underway for a full album release later in the year with an yet to be named record label I think it’s fair to say that you will be hearing a lot more from these guys in the near future.

The Deep self titled demo falls well into that ‘curveball category’. The band itself originate from classic NWOBHM titans Deep Machine and feature members who have played in the likes of Deep Machine as well as Vardis, Rogue Male, Airrace, and Bug-Eyed Starfish to list but a few bands. The demo itself is only four songs long but in that short time you get to quickly release that not only do these guys mean business but that they have the sound and formulae to make a huge impact in the resurging the NWOBHM scene with the songs capturing the true NWOBHM sound and attitude to a t and displaying the type of production quality that would put a lot of big name releases to shame.


Firebrand Magazine

Dio - This Is Your Life (various Artists) Record Label: Rhino


Released: 31 March 2014

Highlight of the album: Catch The Rainbow Website: Reviewer: Rob Birtley

If anyone was to ask me what day ‘The music Died’ with all due respect to Don McLean and his song that has generated more questions than he ever answered I’d have to say May 16th 2010 was the day. Rock historians among you will know that it was the day a man considered by many including myself to be Rocks Greatest Voice Ever tragically lost his battle with Cancer and left this mortal coil. So it was with mixed emotions and not a few misgivings I approached the task of reviewing this tribute album.

Thankfully things are restored to some semblance of sanity by a well-chosen fine version of ‘Mob Rules’ from the Adrenalin Mob. This one is off their often overlooked covers album “Coverta” and it’s a gem with Russell Allan powering through the vocal and stunning work from behind the kit by Mike Portnoy and is followed by the track that pleasantly surprised me the most of all on this album ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ by Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor (backed up mostly by his fellow Stone Sour band mates)’.

‘Ronnie James Dio - This is your life’ is a compilation album of 14 classic songs from various parts of the Rainbow/Sabbath/ Dio back catalogue performed by an all-star group of his friends and fans and includes contributions by such metal heavyweights as Glenn Hughes, Metallica, Motörhead, Doro, Scorpions, Anthrax, and Rob Halford. Produced by his wife and long-time manager Wendy Dio, the album has been created to raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.

British Heavy Metal Royalty is represented in the form of Saxon frontman Biff Byfford with Lemmy and Motorhead in a truly memorable version of ‘Starstruck’ giving it a nice touch of N.W.B.H roughness and energy. Doro really does show Lizzie just how it should be done with her interpretation of ‘Egypt (The Chains Are On),’ which is really spine tingling during the epic tune’s gentle bridge section. Yes Doro is still the Queen of Heavy Metal and the song reveals how much inspiration the late great R.J.D has been to her.

The album kicks off in fine style with Anthrax storming their way through the song Neon Knights and has got to be the track closest to the original on the whole of the album and really evokes the spirit of the Dio era Sabbath, before you are thrown into a state confusion as Tenacious D give you their rendition Of ‘Last in Line’ and quite frankly I wish they hadn’t of bothered. I’m still trying to work out if this is the album’s comedy piece or just something done in the worst possible taste and how Ian Anderson type flute playing gets into this song is a total mystery to me. Jack Black you need to go back to the School of Rock and enrol as a pupil.

To conclude this is a fine album and has many highlights but it does have some problems as well notably the second track. I also find it strange that the Jorn Lande has been omitted from this release when he has covered a number of Dio tracks with great distinction. I would have liked to have seen the excellent Stryper version of ‘Heaven and Hell’ included instead of just being available on the Japanese special edition but I guess these may all be business decisions and even ‘Charity’ records need to make money and it is for a good cause. Will I buy it well yes most likely the Japanese special edition version.


Firebrand Magazine

Vardis - Vigilante Record Label: Hoplite Records

9/10 Released: 1 May 2014

Highlight of the album: Guitar Hero Website: Reviewer: Graham Pritchard

In 1978 a band called Vardis from the North of England stormed in to the UK music scene. They combined the music style of glam, punk, metal and rock n roll all rolled into one. They released ‘100 Miles Per Hour’ in 1980 and followed up with four more albums. However in 1986 Steve Zodiac left the music industry and never returned to it until now Steve, Terry and Gary are back together after 27 years apart and have a new album scheduled for release this year but until then, a remastered ‘Vigilante’ album has been put out, originally recorded way back in 1986 which was the last album they did as a band and is now finally available as a cd after all those years. The album itself contains a bonus track and an 8 page booklet. Vardis are back and playing selected shows, and about time too.

them out. The vocals of Steve Zodiac are just blistering, Terry Horbury’s Bass and Gary Pearson’s. drums just finish it off perfectly. Vardis come from a time when being a rock star meant something and it wasn’t always about the money. It was real and honest rock n roll. Taking a step back in time and revisiting my youth with this one has been good. People have been calling for this reunion for a long time. Can Vardis re capture the audience with the same energy they had back in the early days? From what I have heard the answer to that is yes.

So what can I tell you about the album ’Vigilante’? Not a lot that wasn’t said 27 years ago to be honest except that it is still brilliant and has not aged one bit, The typical style of the band still comes through and for those of you too young to remember Vardis check

Monument - Renegades Record Label: MGR Records

10/10 Released: 16 May 2014

Highlight of the album: Rock The Night Website: Reviewer: Lee Walker

The ever changing lineups (and connecting issues) of White Wizzard over the years prevented the band from hitting the heights it was more than capable of achieving. One of the few plus sides to the revolving band member issues is that we have seen a lot of great vocalists have the nwothm spotlight shone upon them. One such singer was Peter Ellis who has created the band Monument to carry on doing work that he left off with when he left White Wizard. Imagine travelling back in time to the late 70’s/early 80s and catching a young Iron Maiden performing live on their path to becoming the rock gods that they are today. The type of ‘buzz’ surrounding them then is what you get when you are listening to Monument with a mix of classic old school nwobhm influences stamped firmly all over the album it is difficult to find fault with it with my only concern being that some of the songs can sound a bit too close to Iron Maiden in places (for example the instrumental number ‘Red Dragon’ bares a resemblance to ‘Transylvania’) but is that such a bad

thing?. Peter Ellis’s vocals are easily on par with Mr Dickinson’s and the guitarmanship on the album is simply flawless. The track ‘Rock The Night’ features a guest guitar solo performance by Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner adding a further seal of approval to this classic band and I think its fair to say that we finally have found a band worthy of carrying the flag of the nwothm scene forward lets just hope they don’t suffer the same issues as White Wizzard did.


Firebrand Magazine

Qui - Life, Water, Living Record Label: Self Release

7/10 Released: 25 February 2014

Highlight of the album: You’re A Girl Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

My first thought when I pressed play was wtf is this I’m listening to? It soon dawned on me that this is some spaced out prog rock. Now I will admit to not being a huge fan of the more extreme prog music such as Yes, King Crimson, Syd Barrett era (The) Pink Floyd et al, but I figured I’d give this a chance to grow on me. This album is going to be very much an acquired taste, but I know there are people out there who will absolutely love this.

Seriously though, this album is a grower, and if you’re a prog fan, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. For others though, it might just be too hard going. This is some freaky shit. It’s pretty good though, and it’s certainly a grower. I’m not sure I’d listen to it very often, and I’d certainly have to be in the right mood. It’s something that you have to listen to though, and definitely not background music material.

All in all, it’s really hard to put into words. There are If I had to some up this album in a single word, that many elements that contribute to its substance, and word would be “weird” as I don’t think there’s any other it’s really quite interesting, but as I said, it’s a very niche one that will describe it as well. Just glancing through market if I’m honest, but whatever it does, it does it the song titles on the album should give you some clue, well, and will almost certainly challenge the listener in but if you’re still in any doubt, just listen. Mucho Sex In some way or another. It’s intelligent and quirky, and if America, Kicked Out Of Mime College, Boogie Down you’re in the mood for something a little different, you Disappointment and a few more besides had me won’t get anything more different than this album. raising an eyebrow.

Diesel - Into The Fire Record Label: Escape Music

8/10 Released: 23 May 2014

Highlight of the album: So What Is Love Website: Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Gotta say, this was a project I had no idea was working together, terrific lineup with Robert Hart (Bad Company, Manfred Mann's Earth Band) on vocals, Jim Kirkpatrick (FM) guitars, Jim Copely (Manfred Man's Earth Band, Go West, and Paul Rodgers) on drums, Pat Davey (Seven) on bass and with a special guest appearance by Adam Wakeman taking care of keyboards on the album, this has got to be something that hard rock fans will want to check out - right ? Well the answer is Yes (no pun intended). Are some of the tracks on Into The Fire very reminiscent of some of the members other work, well yes, there's a couple of tracks on here that I could see on an FM album, and the fact that Steve Overland also guests backing vocals on the albums title track would also be a negative in some peoples minds, but at the end of the day what we have here is a really solid high quality debut from a band of talented musicians. Robert Harts vocals are excellent throughout and of course nicely complemented by Mr.Overland here and there. As mentioned tracks like ‘Into The Fire’ or ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ could easily fit into a new FM album, but at the same time there's plenty of diversity on show here and certainly enough tracks to see the

new bands sound taking shape, it's a mix of AOR and almost old school blues rock that's being presented in a new package. Jim gets his chances to let loose on most tracks, but ‘Let's Take The Long Way Home’ in particular sees him cutting away and I'm sure he had a lot of fun doing this album. Strangely enough for an album of this genre there's now big stand out ballad, which is something of a nice surprise, ‘So What Is Love’ and the closer ‘Coming Home’ are the closest thing to one, but there not formula ballads that we here week in week out these days. I'd hold ‘So What Is Love’ up against pretty much anything I've heard so far this year, Harts vocals mingle perfectly with Fitzpatricks guitar work and the solid as a rock rythym section behind them, really nice track. Overall I'm really liking this album, all of the components are there, have no idea if this is just a studio project or if we will get to see them play live, but either way it's an album I think I'll be playing a fair bit over the coming weeks, Diesel is a name to keep in the memory banks, and hopefully it's not a one off, there's a lot of talent in this band and we could hope for even more to come down the line.


Firebrand Magazine

Toseland - Renegade Record Label: Music 52

8/10 Released: 24 March 2014

Highlight of the album: Renegade Website: Reviewer: Rob Birtley

I have a number of passions in life and a couple are almost all consuming. If I had to compile a top ten well on a sunny day motorbikes would just edge rock music off the top of the list and besides Biking is the most fun thing you can do with your clothes on. So in some ways I do know were James Toseland is coming from whether it’s sound levels or two-wheeled speed it’s all an adrenaline rush. The question is in this case is James as good behind the mike as he was on the bike? Toseland being one of only two men to win the WSB title for two different factories (Ducati and Honda.) before injury cut short his racing career.

The album gets off to a flying start from the front row of the grid with the opening track a rocker ‘Life Is Beautiful’ and it is the title track from the EP of the same name the band released in 2013. ‘Gotta Be A Better Way’ is also off the EP. Opening with a catchy riff, Toseland’s vocal is haunting in an angst ridden way overall the track has a rocking Indie feel.

‘Just No Way’ is a meaty power ballad. Opening in grand style with a classic AOR guitar intro you’re sure you’ve heard somewhere else but not quite sure were. This time James turns up the mellow in his singing but still manages to stay at full throttle. Yes classic Zippos The Yorkshire man is no stranger to music. He has in the air material. This is followed in stark contrast by been a keen piano player since he was 8 and has ‘Coming To Get Ya’ which rocks along nicely. The lyrics reached a high standard. Whilst he was racing he also like all the tracks on the album aren’t Shakespeare but took to the stage with the band ‘Crash’, an unfortunate you’ll more than get the drift and at this point you know name if you are a rider. He is married to the Singer the band have you in their sights and are closing in Katie Melua as well so he does have some musical fast. pedigree. The rest of the band ’Toseland’ are Zurab Melua on guitar, Rabea Massaad on guitar, Dave Is James Toseland as good behind the mike as he was Hollingworth on bass and Ben Minal on drums. on the bike? Well on two wheels he was a two times Production duties are ably carried out by Little Angels world champ and he is in the early days of his rock front man Toby Jepson ensureing that the record career but ‘Renegade’ is far from a rookie first outing captures the sound of a tight unit perfectly. it’s a fine work full of promise.


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Weapon UK - Rising From The Ashes Record Label: Self Release


Released: 22 April 2014

Highlight of the album: Killer Instinct Website: Reviewer: Graham Pritchard

Weapon have been around a long time making music since the early eighties where they took part in the ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ tour with Motorhead followed by releasing the single the single ‘Mad World’ /’Set The Stage Alight’ .The band continued to tour for a further 18 months until problems with management and contracts forced them to split. However to prove you can’t keep a good band down they returned in 2011 with a new single titled ‘Ready 4 U’ and the latest news from the Weapon UK camp is they have a new album out called ‘Rising From The Ashes’. So what’s changed with this one? Nothing the Vocals of Danny Hynes are just as good as they used to be remaining powerful and full of soul, and Jeff Summers guitar work proving why Weapon where one of the best of the NWOBHM bands around at that time. PJ Phillips and Ian Sweeting complete the line-up. This is their first full album release not counting ‘Set The Stage Alight’ so I was hoping for a good one, I have after all only waited 30 odd years for it. I was not disappointed, from the moment I started listening to

the very last track I was rocking my way back down memory lane and what a trip. I saw Weapon back in the day and was over the moon when they played the Hard Rock Hell Fest a few years ago or was it Hammerfest I can never remember I am old you know. I was even more pleased to see they had not changed and still put on a great show. The album is 12 tracks long and is full of typical Weapon style songs. The opener is an instrumental prelude called ‘The Awakening’ and is a nice if long intro (1:45) to the musical journey I took. This is then followed by 11 tracks of 80’s style nwobhm that you won’t be able to stop listening to. Track 7 (‘Alemein’) is the only slow song on the album but don’t let that put you off as this is a brilliant song full of emotion and Danny sings it perfectly, in some ways it reminds me of ‘Nothing Else Matters’, not in sound but the sentiment and soul behind it .I’m not big on slow ballads but I love this song .If you have heard or seen Weapon before then you should know what to expect, if however you are new to them you won’t be disappointed either way you will love this album.

Breakin’ Down - Miss California Record Label: Inverse Records

6/10 Released: TBC

Highlight of the album: Miss California Website: Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Another new band to me, hailing from the Italy, Breakin' Down play some low down and dirty Rock 'n' Roll, but they are not a new band. Having formed in 1999 they have been working their way up to this album over the last ten or so years. ‘Miss Calafornia’ kicks things off really well, excellent start to the album, the title track is probably the strongest track, which of course doesn't help the rest of the album. This is a top track though and the natural flow through it and it's rocking from start to finish with dual guitars screaming as we go. The vocals may be a bone of contention for some and I think you'll either like them or hate them, on this track I like them on a couple of others they grate a bit, in places reminding me of Lordi, take ‘Voodoo Woman’ for example it's a slow mumbling kind of a song which I'm still not sure if I like or not.

bad but the album could do with something injecting a little more aggression or pace to lift it that bit above other releases out there on the scene. It does however end strongly again with ‘Hell Or Eden’ and although it's taken these guys a long time to get this album out there it's not a bad starting point for Breakin' Down, there's hope for the next release as they continue to learn and develop.

After the start the album is all very single paced and it gets a little scrambled, but it's not that the songs are


Firebrand Magazine

Blackdahlia - Fragments Record Label: Areasonica Records

8/10 Released: 8 March 2014

Highlight of the album: Eclipse Website: Reviewer: Rob Birtley

Guess it’s fair to say we all have our share of guilty pleasures. Things that we are not supposed to like but do. As a bearded biker who grew up on Black Sabbath and UFO you wouldn’t expect me to have a soft spot for the likes of Evanescence, Nightwish, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil but I do and it is not just that I’m a sucker for a pretty face, which is also true, but I find the female voice does have a powerful hook in that kind of music. So it was with some interest I set about listening to ‘Fragments’ by Blackdahlia.

Lacuna Coil and just as enchanting a little more subtle and flowing. As the album progresses the songs start giving more and more full reign to Samuela’s wonderful voice, the playing is finely under stated and decorates the background, drawing you in and making you want to go to it again and again.

Italy does seem to have a number of really good bands in the genre of Rock and Blackdahlia can be added to the roster. In moments you can hear their influences that is true but they still create a sound that is their The album opens with ‘Falling Down’. This is a very own. Samuela’s voice is always engaging and evocative song and reminds me of a mellow ‘Bring me captivating and her piano pieces never fail to please Back to Life’ by Evanescence without the male the ear. Ruggero Doronzo is an accomplished guitar answering vocal. Samuela has a sensual and extremely player and the rest band do more than hold their end melodic voice and she wraps it round every syllable up. If Goth-Metal with female fronted vocal appeals to drenching them in powerful emotion with great you as it does to me you really need to check aplomb. The band has already done a radio edit of this ‘Fragment’ out. I believe they are working on material track and it does lend itself to airplay. ‘No Regrets’ for a second album and I for one would be really opens up with the sounds of the sea a very nice piano interested in finding out just how Blackdahlia carry on part that is woven into the rest of the song. The from such a promising start. structure of the song reminds me of ‘Heavens a Lie’ by

Iron Knights - Iron Knights Record Label: Metlbox Recordings

9/10 Released: 5 May 2014

Highlight of the album: Jacob’s Ladder Website: Reviewer: Graham Pritchard

It is no secret that the Iron Knights have been through a lot the last few years to get where they are today with several line-up changes, and other things going on and just two original members left (bassist Paul ‘Beam’ Robbie and drummer Larry Paterson) no one would have blamed them for calling it a day but to their credit they never, and set about the task of getting new blood in. Enter Jamie Gibson (Ex vocalist from ‘Hi On Maiden’) taking on vocal duties and Wayne Mann on guitar. Jamie (who‘s influences are among many Zakk Wylde and that makes him one cool guy in my book) quickly took over the other guitar spot and that then completed the line-up that went on to record one hell of an album, the self-titled Iron Knights set for release on May 5th and they plan to follow this up with a full tour.

So what we have is 11 tracks of good old thrash metal with a modern twist and the lads make it work well. With the heavy vocals and twin guitars they sound like a cross between Pantera and old Metallica. Tracks like the opener ‘Transparent’ and ‘Genocide’ just draw you in to the world of the Iron Knights and that’s a good place to be. My personal favourite has to be ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ the slowest song on the album, that is said tongue in cheek as it is not that slow but the opening riff is just too good not to mention it. I spoke to Jamie recently and he said they do this for the love of the music (why else would someone work like an insane person for next to nothing). Go and buy this album you will not be disappointed.

I have listened to this album every day for the last week and I have tried to find fault with it and the only thing I could criticise was the sound quality on the recording, however on the big stereo that was not an issue so it may just be that my lap top speakers are crap.


Firebrand Magazine

Neal Schon - So U Record Label: Frontiers Records

8/10 Released: 16 May 2014

Highlight of the album: Love Finds A Way Website: Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Well where do you start with Neal Schon, starting your career with in Santana's band isn't exactly a bad way to go, one of the best known guitarists in rock, he has been the driving force behind Journey since it's inception in 1973 and has played in other bands and side projects along the way such as Bad English, Hardline and Soul Sirkus. Add to that a number of solo albums and multiple guest appearances on some of the top names in the music business.

‘What You Want’, the slightly funky and psychedelic in places ‘On My Way’ and then we have the out and out rock tracks like the excellent ‘Serenity’ and the very Journeyesque ‘Love Finds A Way’, which is a cracking song and probably the highlight oif the album for me, it's got elements of what I love in a hard rock/AOR song, close to a ballad but also has some love solo work in the middle to break it up nicely and it's a very easy song to get into your head.

Well what do we get with "So U", for starters the main musicians throughout the album are Marco Mendoza (Black Star Riders, Whitesnake, Soul Sirkus and many more) on bass and Schon's bandmate from Journey, Deen Castronovo (again also of Soul Sirkus), these three are all powerful musicians in their own rights and provide an extremely solid base for this album. Along with this trio we have the songwriting expertise of Night Ranger's Jack Blades, I know most solo albums by name artists have a lot of other name musicians on them, but this appears more than a throwaway album created on a whim, this is a well written album with some really good tracks on it. The vocal duties are shared between Mendoza, Castronovo and Schon himself, with the excellent "Exotica" being one of 2 instrumental tracks that intersect and also flow through the fifty minutes of excellent rock and blues guitar, the second being "Big Ocean" which finishes the album off nicely.

The one track that doesn't really resonate with me is the title track ‘So U’ which weighs in at a whopping 9 minutes and 29 seconds, I honestly think you could cut out the first two and a half to three minutes and it would not detract from it in the least. The song itself has some nice guitar work as you'd expect, but it waffles a bit and just plods along without hitting any highs for me, that's not to say the musicianship isn't good, it just isn't a track that grabs me and being so long just doesn't help. Already knowing some of Neal's other solo work this particular album for me has more lasting appeal and substance, there may be a bit of everything in here, but it's all played to a high level and enjoyable.,, the rock tracks stand out most for me and I think both ‘Serenity’ and ‘Love Finds A Way’ will get plenty of airplay on my music systems for the coming months.

Some of the other songs here give us a really nice bluesy rock feel like the opening track ‘Take A Ride’ or


Firebrand Magazine

Three Lions - Three Lions Record Label: Frontiers Records

9/10 Released: 18 April 2014

Highlight of the album: Twisted Soul Website: Reviewer: Rob Birtley

There are a lot of bands around doing melodic hard rock at the moment, a few of the originals still going like Thunder, FM, Ten, and Newman and a couple of new bands Like Rage of Angels and Voodoo Circle making some fine albums as well but on the whole I find most of the new stuff I hear a bit disappointing and hardly original so I was really interested to hear of a new 3 piece that had their own voice and something worth listening to it was in this mind-set I took a listen to this album. Three Lions describe themselves as an ‘English Power Trio’. They comprise of Vinny Burns, yes that Burns guitarist extraordinary who has played with most bands of note in this genre his credits include Asia, Dare, Ten, FM etc. to list just a few. Drumming duties are undertaken by Greg Morgan who also played in Dare and Ten. With the bass and vocals entrusted to Nigel Bailey and here I have to confess a new name on my rock horizon. Vinny and Nigel met up at Firefest in 2012 with the intersession of Serafino Perugino and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio who had been tipped of about Nigel by our very own Paul Nicholls sending them a couple of his demos. Originally they were just going to write together but it soon became apparent to them that they had a band forming so Greg joined to complete the trio. To quote their record label ‘Musically Three Lions is British hard rock at the very best! Mixing the melodic approach of early Ten with the classic musical heritage of UFO, Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake’.

The album opens with the current single ‘Trouble in a Red Dress’. One thing that instantly strikes you is the voice of Nigel Bailey. Think Lee Small or Chris Ousey or a less breathless Steve Overland yes he is really in that category and just makes me wonder why I haven’t heard of this guy before now. The song well echoes back to vintage Rainbow and their tales of want to be groupies with a timely modern twist the ‘Rock Star’ sees himself as the prey more than the hunter. As always Vinny plays a fine guitar solo and the band as a whole sound like they have been doing this together for years and not just months. This debut album is jammed packed full of great hook laden songs, fine vocals, scorching guitar playing and p ulverising percussion. I can only say if this album was a World Cup display Football would truly becoming home along with the Jules Rimet trophy and in some fine style as well. If I was going to describe it as a football match well any England display wouldn’t be good enough. In fact I’d have to go back to the 2nd of September 1978 when Liverpool demolished Spurs 7-0 at Anfield and I was fortunate to have been there to see that game. A complete master class performance from beginning to end. It’s just so happens that Vinny and Nigel are Reds as well so they should know I can’t really praise ‘Three Lions’ much higher. Now let’s all hope by the time you are reading this Liverpool will have won the Premiership for the first time but regardless of that result this album fully deserves to finish on top.

Meliah Rage - Warrior Record Label: Metal On Metal Records

9/10 Released: 25 April 2014

Highlight of the album: A Dying Day Website: Reviewer: Lee Walker

Many, many years ago back when I was developing my rather diverse musical taste I picked up a compilation album by the name of ‘Rock Machine Vol 1’ which pretty much shaped out the bands I would later spend my youth listening to and who could blame me with tracks from the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Shark Island, Prong, Killer Dwarfs, Sanctuary, Suicidal Tendencies and Meliah Rage. Fast forward a fair few years and my taste in music is still as messed up now as it was back then with the added distraction that with the advancement of the internet I could discover more bands and catch up on the ones which I had lost track off. Meliah Rage are one such band and so as soon as I heard about the new upcoming album I jumped at the chance to review it.

To me ‘Warrior’ starts off with all the same venom and fire that Meliah Rage had back in the day, with the no nonsense breed of guitar driven sound that dominated the metal scene back then sounding as fresh as the day it was unleashed and Mike Munroes vocals adding that extra edge to the already crushing Meliah Rage sound that still refuses to be pigeonholed into any one genre with the closest description I can come up with being old school American Metal. As albums go ‘Warrior’ doesn’t reinvent the wheel but what it does is prove that there is still life left in Meliah Rage.


Firebrand Magazine

Alain Concepcion - R Record Label: Izkar Producciones

8/10 Released: 21 March 2014

Highlight of the album: True Story Website: Reviewer: Lee Walker

Popping up in the Firebrand submissions inbox this As albums go ‘R’ is a strange affair but if you take the month I found a bit of a surprise when I discovered the time to give it a chance you will be rewarded with some strangely titled ‘R’ by Spanish singer Alain Concepcion. of the gems that are hidden amongst it making it definitely a work in progress but also cementing the It took a few plays to fully appreciate ‘R’ as a fact that you need to keep an eye on what Alain standalone album to begin with as the differing styles Concepcion produces next. that are present on the album seem more suited to an audio resume of Alain Concepcion’s work with his styles swopping and changing in-between melodic rock and soul music rather than sticking to the one genre throughout the album but after a few the plays the songs kind of grow on you and you appreciate Alain’s vocals more as they effortlessly change between the differing styles conveying the emotion behind the lyrics perfectly with ‘True Story’ taking the album to a massive high with its classic radio friendly sounds and sweeping melodic hard rock choruses really igniting this track and pushing it head and shoulders above the other tracks on the album.

Aventus - Valley Of The Kings Record Label: Self Release

3/10 Released: 21 March 2014

Highlight of the album: Warrior Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

This is the debut album from this band, and it’s a little difficult to fathom actually. It’s kind of “new old rock” and yes, I know that makes no sense at all, but let me explain. What you have here is a slab of classic rock and metal that’s been fused with some of the more modern techniques. What you’re left with is something that sits somewhere in between. Musically, there are some crunching riffs, and thumping rhythms and it’s quite savage in its approach. Musically it’s actually not bad. Vocally though, it’s not good at all, although that could just be my opinion. For me, the vocals seem slightly mismatched to the music. Occasionally they’re underpowered, and sometimes seem a little flat and out of tune. Now this could be down to a number of things that have gone on post recording, through production, mixing and mastering for instance, so the only way to know for sure is to hear them live, but even the production seems lacklustre.

I read the press release, and that could be the reason that it’s left me a little disappointed with it. Maybe my expectations were too high, or unrealistic, but unfortunately I was expecting something a lot better. In fact, I couldn’t even make it through the entire album before my ears gave up and begged for mercy. Being a debut album, there’s obviously a lot of room for improvement, but I can’t help thinking that there was a lot of work that should have been done before this one ever saw the light of day. The next offering is going to have to be significantly better to even tempt me into listening to it, but with regards to Valley Of The Kings, if I ever hear it again, it will be too soon....

I was really looking forward to hearing this album when


Firebrand Magazine

Matt Stevens - Lucid Record Label: Esoteric Records

10/10 Released: 31 March 2014

Highlight of the album: The Bridge Website: Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Having first heard of Matt late last year and picking up a couple of his releases from his Bandcamp page, his work is top class, and I have been waiting for this release since it was announced. And it doesn't disappoint. Matt works in many genres, prog, rock, and his solo work dabbles in looping and with that I guess some electronics, all to a high standard. Purely instrumental often do not do much for me, but there's plenty of variation in here and enough changes of pitch and pace to really keep the mind working over and the interest high. On Matt's solo albums you will hear both acoustic and electric guitars and a loop station, add to that a list of excellent guests and ‘Lucid’ offers lots of different elements. Don't get me wrong this album is a little different to what you normally see reviewed in our pages, but that certainly does not mean that it's not something you should take notice of and grab onto with both hands. Each track on offer here is different and brings us on a new journey. Of course most album reviews start at the start, but this one is going to jump straight to the fifth track, the epic ‘The Bridge’ which clocks in at close to 12 minutes, but it runs and sways and and rocks all at the same time, it also contains some beautiful guitar work from the man himself, along with some effects that really add to the music and I would really love how it would come across being


played live, but that's for another day. The acoustic tracks on the album are just beautiful with ‘A Boy’ in particular being a personal favourite, one of those pieces that you can just lay back to and let was over you, also ‘The Other Side’ which expands into a slightly more aggressive track and then immediately settles back down to where it started, and that works really well for me. This isn't all that we get here though the heavier and more progressive tracks here like ‘Oxymoron’ and ‘Unsettled’ give insight into another side of Matt's talents. There's a little bit of abstract work in ‘Flow’ which possibly makes the most use of the loop station, but it sounds really modern and fresh to me. Another track to look out for is ‘The Ascent’ which is slightly of the wall and at the same time contains more brilliant guitar work through out it's midsection. Having listened to the album many times over I have yet to find a track on the album that does nothing for me or that I don't like. This is Matt's first release on Esoteric Recordings and what a way to start, if you get an opportunity to check out Matt playing live jump at it, those in London will have plenty of chances over the next couple of months with further dates around the UK lined up for later in the year.

Firebrand Magazine

Absolva May 04 Kendal Bootleggers 09 Newcastle Trillians 10 Carlisle Brickyard 11 Wakefield Snooty Fox 16 Great Yarmouth The Oakwood 17 Brighton Green Door Store 18 Swindon Victoria 23 Grimsby Yardbirds 24 Selby Riverside 28 Bristol Gryphon 29 Southampton Joiners 30 Ebbw Vale Odin's 31 Manchester Sound Control September 05 FR Arras, Blue Devil's Bar 06 DE Waldbronn

SOS Festival 19 - 20 July Absolva, Savage Messiah, Monument, Exit State, Wizz Wizzard, Fantasist, Blaze Bayley (With Chris Appleton) and many more Soundcheck One 12 DE Berlin Blackland 13 PL Bielsko-Biala Rude Boy Club 14 CZ Litvinov Attic Rock Club 19 NL Amsterdam The Cave 21 NL Emmen, Blanko 26 BE Namur Magick 27 BE Aalter Wizz's Autumn Festival October 02 DE Muhlhausen Kulturfabrik 03 DE Herdorf Rattenloch 04 FR Fismes Underground Investigation Festival 11 FR Bartenheim Caf Conc 18 NL, Nijmegen Rockcafe Backstage 19 BE Roeselare De Verlichte Geest

Adjenda May 23 Belfast Voodoo Clutch May 06 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms 07 Glasgow O2 ABC 08 Belfast The Limelight Eagles May 28 Birmingham LG Arena 29 Birmingham LG Arena 31 Glasgow The Hydro June 02 June Glasgow The Hydro 04 Dublin O2 06 Dublin O2 16 London O2 18 London O2 23 Leeds first direct arena 25 Manchester Phones 4u Arena Edens Curse May 19 Glasgow Ivory Blacks 20 Bolton Railway 21 Wakefield Snooty Fox 22 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 23 Grimsby Yardbirds 24 Sawnsea Static 25 London Underworld Extreme ‘Pornograffitti Live’ Tour July 04 Manchester Academy 05 O2 Academy Glasgow 07 Birmingham Institute 08 London Forum Fish May 06 Wolverhampton Robin 08 Norwich Waterfront 09 London Islington Assembly Hall 10 Cardiff Globe 11 Bristol Fleece 13 Brighton Concorde 15 Exeter Phoenix 16 Northampton Roadmender 17 Holmfirth Picturedrome 18 Glasgow o2 ABC September 29 Durham Gala Theatre December 19 Liverpool O2 Academy 20 Sheffield City Hall


Nightblade & Superfecta Riverooms, Stourbridge 8 May Download Festival 13 – 15 June Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, Aerosmith, Rob Zombie, Alter Bridge and many more

For a free listing please email your gig or festival information to: Firebrand Magazine

FM May 04 Lisbon RCA Club August 09 Cambridge Rock Festival

Sonisphere 2014 4 - 6 of July The Prodigy, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Alice in Chains, Airbourne, Anthrax and many more Furyon with Mordred August 22 Dublin The Voodoo 23 Belfast The Limelight2 25 London O2 Academy 26 Birmingham O2 Academy 27 Glasgow O2 Academy 28 Newcastle O2 Academy 29 Sheffield O2 Academy 30 Liverpool O2 Academy 31 Bristol O2 Academy September 01 Brighton Concorde 2 H.E.A.T May 16 London Garage 17 Newcastle O2 Academy 2 18 Glasgow Cathouse 19 Manchester Academy 3 Iron Knights May 04 Portsmouth The Edge 25 S.O.P.H.I.E Fest Tamworth Rock-ItBar Onslaught July 13 Dublin Voodoo Lounge 14 Belfast Limelight 2 16 Newcastle 02 Academy 2 17 Glasgow ABC 2 18 Sheffield 02 Academy 2 19 Bristol Academy 20 London Islington 02 Academy 21 Birmingham 02 Academy 2

Primal Fear September 17 London 2 Academy Islington 19 Glasgow O2 ABC 21 Sheffield O2 Academy 24 Newcastle O2 Academy 25 Liverpool O2 Academy 27 Leicester O2 Academy Robert Cray May 05 Birmingham Town Hall 06 London Barbican Theatre 08 Harrogate Royal Hall 09 Gateshead The Sage 10 Cambridge Corn Exchange 11 Norwich Theatre Royal 13 Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall 14 Cardiff St David’s Hall 16 Manchester Bridgewater Hall 17 Edinburgh Queen’s Hall 18 Guildford G-Live Saxon November 30 Bristol Academy December 01 Bournemouth Academy 02 Nottingham Rock City 04 Manchester Ritz 05 Dublin Academy 06 Belfast Limelight/ Mandela Hall 07 Glasgow ABC 09 Newcastle Academy 10 Leeds Academy 11 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 12 Oxford Academy 13 London Shepherd's Bush Empire Status Quo June 13 Cheshire Cholmondeley Castle 14 Cheshire Cholmondeley Castle December 06 Liverpool Exho Arena 16 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena The Brew May 04 Newcastle Cluny 2 07 Bilston Robin 2 09 Edinburgh Bannermans 10 Ballymena The Diamond Rock Club 12 Oxford Bullingdon 13 Cardiff The Globe 16 Doncaster Dome 18 Cockermouth Saints Rooms Winger June 15 Download Festival 17 Glasgow O2 Academy 18 Newcastle O2 Academy 20 Bristol O2 Academy 21 London O2 Academy Islington


Yes May 04 Birmingham Symphony Hall 06 Leicester De Montfort Hall 07 Sheffield City Hall 08 London Royal Albert Hall 10 Manchester O2 Apollo 11 Bristol Hippodrome

Bloodstock 7-10 August Down, Emperor, Megadeth, Dimmu Borgir, Carcass, Amon Amarth, Children Of Bobom and many more

Cambridge Rock Festival 7 - 10 August FM, Wishbone Ash, Snakecharmer, The Ultimate Eagles, Chantel McGregor and many more

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Firebrand Magazine Issue 19 - April  

Issue 19 of Firebrand Magazine is out now featuring interview with the legendary Glenn Hughes and reviews from the Weapon UK, Monument, Neal...